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Old 12-30-2015, 09:30 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Jim Flower View Post
The bottom photo in my previous post was taken last year in Terrace Bay on my way back from Alberta. The following photo shows part of my Jeep fleet. The 2008 Jeep diesel is now my son's daily driver. It has just about 400,000k on it and it towed both my 25 ft Safari and the 30 ft Signature. The 2008 Jeep diesel towing the Globe Trotter in the previous photo is also part of the family fleet. I maintain the vehicles meticulously. None of them have ever suffered a towing related mechanical failure. I have had 5 earlier Jeeps. 3 were retired at 500,000 k. One is still in the family with only 200,000 k and the other was stolen.
A diesel or hemi Jeep is an excellent tow vehicle and daily driver. JimAttachment 254865
I just spent a couple hours skimming through most of your 1000+ posts, looking for your weighing results. Did not find anything since 2012.

I looked at the GC diesel a little in 2014 when I bought my last tow vehicle, but did not give it a real study since the payload was so low.

I'm really intrigued by your towing experiences with Jeeps. What modifications have you made to give your 2014 GC the ability to tow your 30'? What do you think about towing my 34'? I really would like to tow with a smaller vehicle.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:10 PM   #30
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I tow a Safari 25 FB with a '13 GC with the hemi and the factory tow package. First thing I did is went through the trailer and got rid of stuff we never used. Got the ready to camp weight down to 6200 to 6400 pounds with propane and half a tank of water. I'm using a Propride hitch and Directlink brake controller. A couple of monthes ago I hooked up the AS and went up to about 9700' and the transmission cooler never went over 195 degrees. Since there are several gravel pits near by, I can weigh my trailer and tow vehicle frequently to get the best load distribution and payload. The numbers tossed out here are not necessary based on experience, but on those tags on the door jam of your car and the tag in the closet of your AS.

To make a long story short, the Grand Cherokee (gas or diesel) is a great tow vehicle.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:19 PM   #31
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I believe a 34 is lighter than my 2012 Signature and has 3 axels. I saw one being towed by a Mercedes diesel at Can Am on one of my visits there. I think Jeeps can match the towing ability of a Mercedes based on what I have seen in Canada where smaller tow vehicles exist in much greater numbers than in the US. In Europe, trucks are a very uncommon tow vehicle. Can Am modified the hitch on my Jeeps because I reckon my tongue weight is about 1200 lbs. I don't carry anything in my Jeep except my bikes and the Jeep handles beautifully. I averaged 14.9 miles per gal on my recent Florida trip, which was a minor improvement over the previous trip. The 2014 Jeep Diesel is a generational improvement over the Mercedes based 2008 Jeep Diesel. My son got about the same Pulling his 20' GC with the 2008 Jeep diesel. Jim


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Old 12-31-2015, 12:48 AM   #32
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We tow a 19' Bambi with a Jeep Grand Cherokee

Our Bambi weighs about 4000lbs, maybe a bit more loaded, and we use a JGC with the 5.7 liter V-8 to tow it. We use the Bambi as a "mobile motel room" in our trips between our summer home (Anacortes, WA) and winter home (Tucson, AZ). Overall it has been a good tow vehicle... no problems to speak of. We get about 13mpg overall towing. But there are some hills where we are going much slower than the speed limit (e.g., 35mph). We usually monitor the trans temp and try to keep it below 200 degrees F. Frankly, I cannot imagine towing a 7000 lb trailer with a JGC. Unless of course you confine your driving to level areas.

A number of years ago we had a 25' Classic AS and used a Chev Silverado 2500 with a Duramax diesel and Allison trans. It worked pretty well as a tow vehicle, but again, there were times that we were forced to run at about 30mph up hills, especially in hot weather. If I were you I would get a truck to pull your AS. IMHO an SUV is just too small.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:44 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Jim Flower View Post
I believe a 34 is lighter than my 2012 Signature and has 3 axels. I saw one being towed by a Mercedes diesel at Can Am on one of my visits there. I think Jeeps can match the towing ability of a Mercedes based on what I have seen in Canada where smaller tow vehicles exist in much greater numbers than in the US. In Europe, trucks are a very uncommon tow vehicle. Can Am modified the hitch on my Jeeps because I reckon my tongue weight is about 1200 lbs. I don't carry anything in my Jeep except my bikes and the Jeep handles beautifully. I averaged 14.9 miles per gal on my recent Florida trip, which was a minor improvement over the previous trip. The 2014 Jeep Diesel is a generational improvement over the Mercedes based 2008 Jeep Diesel. My son got about the same Pulling his 20' GC with the 2008 Jeep diesel. Jim
In October I towed my 34' Excella, at 9,000+ lb GVW with 1,100+ lb tongue, from FL to NC, then back. Going north I towed with my Brother-in-law's 2500 Duramax. Coming back south I towed it with my 1500 5.3L gasser. I was surprised to find there was little difference in the way the trucks handled while pulling the large trailer. No doubt the diesel had more pull power, but driving down the road there was little difference. I think the 1500 may have had slightly better braking.

To the OP: sorry for hijacking your thread!
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:42 AM   #34
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Our Bambi weighs about 4000lbs, maybe a bit more loaded, and we use a JGC with the 5.7 liter V-8 to tow it. We use the Bambi as a "mobile motel room" in our trips between our summer home (Anacortes, WA) and winter home (Tucson, AZ). Overall it has been a good tow vehicle... no problems to speak of. We get about 13mpg overall towing. But there are some hills where we are going much slower than the speed limit (e.g., 35mph). We usually monitor the trans temp and try to keep it below 200 degrees F. Frankly, I cannot imagine towing a 7000 lb trailer with a JGC. Unless of course you confine your driving to level areas.

. . . If I were you I would get a truck to pull your AS. IMHO an SUV is just too small.
If the 5.7 Hemi engine is the problem with the Grand Cherokee, wouldn't that problem translate to half-ton trucks? We have the 5.7 Hemi in our Ram half-ton, it easily takes us wherever we want to go. That said, you have to get the RPM's up on the really steep grades to approach peak torque range, same for engine braking descending them. That's the simplicity of these non-turbo gas engines, old school but works very well.

The other factor is differential gearing. We have 3.55 gears with 20" low profile tires in our Ram 1500, 3.92 gears are optional and would pull much better on steep grades.

I have no idea what the differential gearing or tire diameter is on the Jeep GC, but if geared for economy rather than power, that may be a significant difference in pulling power compared to the Ram 5.7 Hemi. Are different gear ratios optional?
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:18 PM   #35
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The other factor is differential gearing. We have 3.55 gears with 20" low profile tires in our Ram 1500, 3.92 gears are optional and would pull much better on steep grades.

I have no idea what the differential gearing or tire diameter is on the Jeep GC, but if geared for economy rather than power, that may be a significant difference in pulling power compared to the Ram 5.7 Hemi. Are different gear ratios optional?
From what I can tell, the rear axle ratios on the GC and Durangos are in the 3.45 range (some models are down to 3.09). Not sure if you can modify that, but that's all the online configurator seems to allow.
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:08 PM   #36
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From what I can tell, the rear axle ratios on the GC and Durangos are in the 3.45 range (some models are down to 3.09). Not sure if you can modify that, but that's all the online configurator seems to allow.
The Grand Cherokee and the Ram 1500 basically have the same running gear. With the hemi at 360 HP and 390 ft. lbs. of torque and the factory tow package with a 7200# (4x4) towing capacity, I do not understand how the nay sayers here can say that the GC is a poor choice to pull a 25' AS. I have the tow/haul mode as well as trailer sway control and independent suspension. Traded a 2012 Chevy 2500 HD 4x4 with the 6.0 gas engine for the Grand Cherokee and never looked back. Here's the Chevy with 980 miles and slipping transmission because it came from the factory with kinked cooling lines!

Too, the GC is a lot better daily driver than the 2500!
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:30 PM   #37
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This is an interesting thread, and I hope that it helps the OP with his decision. I'm an engineer who respects design criteria and load capacities, yet I've found the Grand Cherokee to have capacity well beyond it's stated numbers. We travel heavy with our 2014 GC EcoDiesel and 2011 FC23FB. Full water, propane, grandkids and gear. This summer I added a 120 lb Bigfoot hard shell roof top tent atop the GC for the grandkids to sleep in. Fantastic addition for all concerned! I towed this setup this summer through CO, UT and ID including some very rough and steep National Forest access roads. Never a bit of worry, the GC is one tough and capable vehicle. 43,600 towing miles behind us (half of that with our 08 GC Diesel) and I look forward to many more.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:46 PM   #38
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I posted on the Bambi/JGC combo. I should have mentioned braking since going down the hill is as important as going up. Our JGC has disc brakes all the way around and does a good job of braking with the Bambi in tow. But I would think a trailer of almost twice the weight would create a different picture. Better to have a vehicle rated for >10,000 lbs of towing IMHO...that is, like most full sized pickups. I see the new Silverado 2500 diesel has more than twice the towing capacity of my JGC.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:59 AM   #39
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I posted on the Bambi/JGC combo. I should have mentioned braking since going down the hill is as important as going up. Our JGC has disc brakes all the way around and does a good job of braking with the Bambi in tow. But I would think a trailer of almost twice the weight would create a different picture. Better to have a vehicle rated for >10,000 lbs of towing IMHO...that is, like most full sized pickups. I see the new Silverado 2500 diesel has more than twice the towing capacity of my JGC.
Thinking that a bigger truck has bigger brakes is a common mistake, but that's simply not the case. Whatever the tow vehicle, you will always have to rely on your trailer brakes to do their job. Instead, the bigger the truck, the longer the stopping distance is often the case

The only time the tow vehicle can really make a big difference to the braking performance is with Diesel engines on a downhill drive.
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:10 PM   #40
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Today's gasser automatics make an exhaust brake on the diesel a moot point. No Airstream ever built requires a diesel truck to have an EB.

The GC or Durango seems an excellent choice. The cars my family used to tow heavier and longer vintage kin trailers forty and fifty years ago were not nearly so good as these.
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:48 PM   #41
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I tow our 25' FC rear twin with a Durango Hemi. Works just fine.

Fully loaded with full tanks and all supplies and gear, our FC weighs about 6600lbs. I put it with the fully loaded Durango (full tank, two people, two dogs, two bikes and stuff) on scales and all axles were within limits.

Plus it's a great daily driver.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:10 PM   #42
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I tow our 25' FC rear twin with a Durango Hemi. Works just fine.

Fully loaded with full tanks and all supplies and gear, our FC weighs about 6600lbs. I put it with the fully loaded Durango (full tank, two people, two dogs, two bikes and stuff) on scales and all axles were within limits.

Plus it's a great daily driver.
Thanks for the real world weights. Super helpful while I plan.

My wife and I drove a durango today, and thinking strongly that's the way we'll be going.
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